GREAT FALLS — People came together at the University of Providence on Saturday to enjoy soup and entertainment for a good cause in Great Falls on Saturday as part of the YWCA's annual "Empty Bowls" event.
Empty Bowls aims to increase awareness of those who are hungry in our community. Each bowl is designed and created by an artist in our community.
YWCA Chief Operating Officer, Victoria Doe said, "you're able to come and enjoy soup that has been donated to various community partners. We have handcrafted bowls that have been donated by local potters, and with your ticket to come in, you get to pick out one of those bowls and enjoy a nice cup of soup, rolls, deserts, drinks, and you're always welcome to buy more than one bowl."
This fundraiser proceeds will go to the YWCA Mercy Home, which is Cascade’s County’s only shelter for women and children who are escaping from abuse.
The Mercy Home shelter offers a 60-day program of emergency housing and other comprehensive services to women and their children who are fleeing an abusive relationship. The YWCA and Mercy Home shelter embrace an empowerment model that encourages and supports participants in their efforts to meet personal goals, guide their own lives, achieve self-sufficiency and autonomy, and to live with dignity.
While at the shelter, the client has access to free counseling, support groups, case management, and continued support through the legal process. Case management can assist the client with housing and employment if needed. Assistance with an order of protection is also available, including accompanying the client to court dates. If emergency shelter is not needed, the client has access to all of the programs the YWCA offers for free.
The Mercy Home also offers a 24-hour crisis line for those seeking assistance and support around issues of intimate partner violence.
Doe said, "in fiscal year 2023, we served 129 women and 65 children who came to the Mercy Home seeking shelter, and these were all women who are fleeing domestic or sexual violence and human trafficking. We provided over 5000 meals, over 5000 nights of emergency shelter and almost 16,000 meals at the Mercy Home."
To learn more about the YWCA's mission, click here: https://ywcagreatfalls.org/about/